England could face a Group of Death at Euro 2020 depending on Kosovo result

England v Montenegro - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

It's official: England are heading to Euro 2020 thanks to their 7-0 win over Montenegro in midweek.

Gareth Southgate's men qualified with a game to spare and their attentions can now turn to next summer's tournament. 

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about a Three Lions side who have scored 23 goals in their five recent games. 

However, as the ITV panel pointed out on Thursday, there are still concerns about their defence.

Even Montenegro exposed them with a couple of decent through balls in the first half. They've also lost to the Czech Republic and let in three goals at home to Kosovo in the last couple of months. 

That suggests Southgate can't afford to take Kosovo too lightly when they meet again on Sunday.

England might be tempted to relax with qualification already secured, but they still need to ensure they finish as top seeds. 

If they fail to win in Pristina, they could be drawn into a wholly unappealing Group of Death. A draw or a loss, and they'll drop down to second seeds and could be drawn against much tougher opponents. 

The Sun note that England could meet Portugal, Belgium, and Scotland in a worst-case scenario. 


They'll instead be hoping for the likes of Finland, who have qualified for a major tournament for the very first time thanks to a Teemu Pukki brace in a 3-0 win over Liechtenstein. 

Scotland, of course, can now only qualify for the finals through the play-offs. 

The thought of a shaky England defence coming up against Cristiano Ronaldo and Eden Hazard will send shivers down the spines of their fans. The Juventus forward has 10 goals in his last five games for Portugal, while Hazard is beginning to find his feet after a difficult start at Real Madrid. 

Roberto Martinez's Red Devils sit in top spot in the FIFA rankings, with Portugal sixth. England are fourth.

The draw will take place in Bucharest on November 30.


GIVEMESPORT'S Kat Lucas says: 

The group stage draw could be make or break for this England side.

The draw was relatively kind to them at the 2018 World Cup; Colombia were the only real banana skin they faced on their way to the semi-finals before being knocked out by Croatia.  

England v Montenegro - UEFA Euro 2020 Qualifier

On the one hand, players want to face the best in the world. That's what major tournaments are all about. However, that England dressing room would probably fancy facing Portugal and Belgium a little further along the way. Through no fault of their own, they have not been facing the top teams - their opponents in qualifying have been alarmingly weak.

Southgate doesn't seem to know his best back four yet, but he does have £127million worth of centre-backs at his disposal. Despite that, in their qualifying campaign England have failed to keep clean sheets in games against the Czech Republic, Montenegro, and Kosovo. 

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